Gravy is yummy. Gravy is luscious, decadent, salty, umami goodness. Potatoes or rice pasta are just the carrier to eat gravy. Thanksgiving is really an excuse to put gravy on everything. And this gravy you will want to eat with a spoon. Best. Vegetarian Gluten Free Gravy. Evah.
My partner made this for me one Thanksgiving when she was determined that I would have the equivalent of what the rest of the meat-and-wheat-eating family was having. Honestly, I didn’t care that much and as she was busily chopping mushrooms and intently adding herbs, I thought it was sweet but that I really could do without.
I didn’t tell her that.
And boy was I glad I didn’t!!! This gravy is divine ambrosia of the gods. I recently discovered it also makes an amazing alfredo like sauce. This is very dangerous knowledge. As is the fact that I can now make it for myself.
Up until now, I only ate this when my partner made it for me. Why I never learned, I don’t know. Probably some latent instinct to protect myself from consuming it in quantities vast enough to bathe in.
But its all over now. I learned how to make this because of a comment by Sparrow Grace (who has the most adorable blog, you should really check it out) about not having a good vegetarian gluten free gravy recipe. I could not stand by and see such a travesty when I had access to such fantastic deliciousness!
I think gravy is one of those things that everybody likes it a certain way – their way! Usually the way they had it as a child. I like it salty, creamy and thick with some chunky bits. Other people like it sweet and thin. You can tweak this recipe however you want.
For instance, I do not like celery much, but if you like it, add it! If you’re not wild about mushrooms, maybe use white button mushrooms. If you love them, try portobello, morel, or chantrelle. If you don’t have fresh herbs, use about 1/4 tsp dry herbs. If you like bits in your gravy, chop less fine. If you like smooth, put it in the blender. If you want it sweeter, add sugar (brown sugar will give more depth).
Watch out for the cream – a lot of places nowadays are adding thickeners and mono and diglycerides (aka fat!) to cream and other dairy products as fillers. Any of these could be contaminated in the manufacturing process. I stick to organic only and always read the label, even if I’ve bought the brand twenty times before.
To thicken the vegetable broth, just put two cups into a flat saute pan (more surface area is good!), bring to a boil, and watch it, stirring occasionally until it has a syrupy type consistency. Like warm honey. You don’t have to do this, you could use store bought bullion, but I encourage you to try for a couple of reasons. First, it is DELICIOUS!!! Omg, I-was-licking-the-pan-afterwards-delicious. Secondly it is EASY. So easy. Seriously, it took maybe 5 minutes. Thirdly it is CHEAP. Really good bullion is expensive. This is better than any fancy stuff you can buy. Fourthly, and most importantly, assuming you start with gluten free broth, it is entirely gluten free. I use a brand that Safeway carries that is kept free of all cross contamination. All of the dry/reduced bullion that I can find has things like “maltodextrin” in it (which is from gluten). If you really don’t want to going through reducing the broth, just use however much of your bullion you would use to make two cups of broth.
4 medium crimini mushrooms minced fine
1 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp fresh sage minced fine
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary minced fine
1/2 tsp fresh thyme minced fine
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper, ground
1 medium clove garlic minced fine
1 cup cream
2 cups vegetable broth, reduced to a syrup consistancy
Salt to taste
1/2 TBSP potato or tapioca starch
Add the butter to a saute pan and over med heat let it melt. Add the mushrooms, stir to coat. add the sage, rosemary, thyme, pepper and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms have released their juices (as soon as it looks like the liquid level is going back down). Add the cream and veggie broth syrup. Mix. Taste it. Do you like it more salty? Add salt. Do you like it more creamy? Add more cream. Let it cook for a bit, merging the flavors. I usually do about 10-15 minutes. When you’ve got the tasty goodness you want, remove 3 tablespoons of the liquid into a small bowl. Add the potato or tapioca starch and mix well. With the heat on med, add half of it back to the pan and stir immediately and constantly. Wait a few seconds to see how it firms up. Keep repeating until you reach the consistency you like (you might need more starch than this).
This is my lab note book for recipes that my sweet chemist partner bought for me to keep track of my experiments in the kitchen. I love it!